Lurid ruby color. High-pitched dark berry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of dried rose, cola and exotic spices. Sappy and impressively concentrated, offering sweet dark fruit and floral pastille flavors that are energized by a core of juicy acidity. The impressively delineated finish repeats the spice and dark berry notes and lingers superb tenacity and gentle grip.
There is also a red from five field blends from small plots of old vines on the banks of the Bibei River on granite soils. The 2016 Escalada do Bibei has only 12% alcohol and a soft texture and velvety mouthfeel, polished by the élevage and time in bottle, two years ago now. If was foot trodden and matured in 228- and 500-liter oak barrels for 18 months. The wine is modern, clean and expressive, but I'd have liked a little less oak in the aromas and flavors. Despite its age, it still finishes quite tannic, marked by the élevage. It reminded me of some of the reds from Dominio do Bibei across the river. 2,000 bottles were filled in July 2018.
Just over 2,000 bottles of this rare wine were made for the world! A First Bottle US exclusive and a wine well-worth your attention. $69 retail, our price today is excellent! All the sommeliers and winemakers on our list (there are a lot of them) know what a gem this wine is!
In a region mostly known for Godello today, the region of Valdeorras was once known for red wines, like the rare Merenzao grape. This grape is also known by the name Bastardo in the Jura region. Located just North of the border of Portugal in between the regions of Bierzo and Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras is an area that is becoming all the rage with young, ambitious winemakers from Spain. This is a high elevation region with steep slate and granite-packed soils that meander down the Bibei River.
Today's missive is a unique blend of Mencia, Merenzao and Brancellao. Those who like the ethereal wines of Ribera Sacra and Bierzo will find a lot to love here! It is captivating and quite light on its feet, super floral and incredibly fresh. Despite its relatively light color and low alcohol, it is quite concentrated, impressively mineral and super long. This wine really has it all; rarity, pedigree, tradition, and very old-vines.
Be one of the few on this planet to own and drink some -- super limited!
PAIRING IDEAS: Rich body and savory acidity beg for something peppery and rich. We think steak au poivre hits the spot. Hard to go wrong with aged cheese, too -- try a Spanish one like aged Mahon or Manchego.
MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: We’re feeling something SPICY like the song Smooth from the legend Carlos Santana. This wine could “change your life to better suit your mood...cause it’s so smooth!”
About the Producer
Escalada Do Bibei represents a revival of a style of wine that once upon a time was popular in the high elevation region of Valdeorras. Today Valdeorras is mostly known for the production of white Godello grapes, however before the 1800s, this region was known for the production of red wine, specifically grapes like Merenzao, which are rare to find today. Escalada Do Bibei is a blend of Merenzao, Mencía and Brancellao. Merenzao and Brancellao are very aromatic, offering aromas of strawberries and violets. In Portugal, the Merenzao grape takes the name of Bastardo and in France, specifically in the Jura region, it takes the name of Trousseau. Mencía provides body and Brancellao contributes acidity. The vineyards of this rare wine are near the cliffs of the Bibei River which is more narrow and steep than the neighboring Sil river. Valdeorras is known for its altitude and mineral soils composed of slate and granite. The region is in between Bierzo and Ribeira Sacra, but its climate is very different. Its higher elevation brings cooler nights and mornings, producing grapes with uplifted tones and refined tannins.